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Thread: Pieced backing - bulky?

  1. #1
    Super Member redstilettos's Avatar
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    Pieced backing - bulky?

    There's a great thread on the Pictures board of people's back sides. Her words, not mine! (but her humor is very similar to my own, hehe).

    It now makes me think I can do this and maybe get rid of not only some scraps but some creative energy as well.

    My concern is, if I have a pieced top and a pieced back, will it be too bulky (seams) to quilt properly?

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I have always worried about a thick seam on the front and one on the back stacking up and causing a skipped stitch or broken needle. I think it would depend on how seam heavy the top and back were.

  3. #3
    Super Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    I have many times split the 45 inch wide fabric in half lengthwise and added blocks up the middle. These are not blocks with a huge amount of seams. Also my tops are fairly simple with no tiny Bonnie Hunter type pieces. I quilt on an ancient HQ16 and never had a problem.

    It is great for those tops are are 8-10 inches wider than width of fabric. And it uses up orphan blocks. I am mainly a charity quilter and I things it adds to the whole picture.

  4. #4
    Senior Member TheMerkleFamily's Avatar
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    I've added a row of pieced blocks to a few of the quilts I've made recently and didn't notice a problem with any bulkiness when quilting. I imagine a lot has to do with what machine you're quilting on, the needle type/size you're using and the thread type/size?

    Best part is that it filled the gap I needed to widen the queen sized backing and it's so stinkin' cute to have a little something on the backside

    Go for it!

    Christine
    Christine
    In my dream world.... fabric is free and quilting makes you thin!

  5. #5
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Iíve never had a problem quilting quilts with pieced fronts and pieced backs. I have quilted them on all three of my Brother machines and also my Sweet16 and they all handle the extra seams just fine.

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
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    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  6. #6
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    I iron my seams open when I have to piece the back. That eliminates some of the bulk. I use a size 16 needle for most of my quilting. The larger size handles the bulk better.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  7. #7
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I've pieced many backings w/o problems. I usually use a 5/8th inch seam for that and press it open.

  8. #8
    Super Member gingerd's Avatar
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    I piece all of my backs. I use the pieces left over from the front. I purchase extra front fabric for the back.

    Here is the back for the quilt that is in my avatar.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by gingerd; 09-05-2018 at 11:42 AM.
    **************
    Ginger
    ~stitching one thread at a time~

  9. #9
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    It should be fine. The layer of batting would cushion the seams between the front and backing fabric(s) on each side.

    For piecing large pieces of backing, I use a 1/2 inch seam allowance and press to one side. Plus I use lots of starch so it is less likely to shift. My quilts are sent out to the LA for quilting.

  10. #10
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    I piece most of my backs. I quilt w/ different QAYG techniques and have not had a problem. (but I also don't do intensive quilting) You do have to be mindful of how you are planning on quilting in relation to where main focal points will be on the front and the back.
    "Never cruel, nor cowardly, never give up, never give in."

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  11. #11
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    Should be fine as long as the seams arenít right on top of frontside seams. (Youíd almost have to plan it for that to hapoen, so not likely). Use a good thread and topstitch needle.

  12. #12
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I piece almost all of my backs to add interest and to preserve fabric used in the front design Incase repairs may be needed in the futureó-matching fabric is right there on the back. I have never had any issues or noticeable additional bulk.

  13. #13
    Super Member redstilettos's Avatar
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    Thanks all. Iím really eager to try and will use some of the pointers given here!

  14. #14
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    With the exception of a few small baby quilts, most of my larger quilts get pieced backs...especially scrappy projects. I have not had any problems but rent a LA for anything lap size or larger.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  15. #15
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    I do it all the time because I'm always that few inches short. A great way to get rid of extra blocks or smaller pieces of fabric. Of course I do try to make sure they kind of match the front of the quilt.

  16. #16
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    I piece a lot of my backings and have not had any problem with quilting on my midarm machine. I rarely buy backing fabrics. Hope this helps.

  17. #17
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    I piece backs all the time. I have never had a problem with stacked seams. The only problem with bulk that I have experienced is when the front seams are stacked in a point.

  18. #18
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    I've really been enjoying adding in "orphan" blocks or leftover pieces of fabrics into my backs for the last several years. I usually work with scrap quilts and usually make more blocks than I use on the front, so it's a good use of them. Or sometimes I have a themed fabric in the stash that just didn't play nicely with the others on the front but not big enough for the back. I should take a picture of the back of one of my cat quilts that used a number of large pieces...

    Recently I finished a baby quilt that was just a couple inches wider than standard width fabric. I had a really nice jungle print that was long enough and went well with the fabrics on the top, and simply put black strips (it had a back background) for the extra couple of inches on either side. I had to be rather careful loading it on the long arm so that the sides stayed even.

    Like others who have already posted, I usually use at least a 0.5" seam with fairly large pieces of fabric and always press them open. But then I press all my seams open. I've used multiple pieced backs on my little old sewing machine and on a long arm. Although I have left them intact if they are short and soft, if you have enough width you should cut off the selvedge for the usual reasons (thickness, twisting, etc.).

    I've been using pieced backs for years, it was that or sheets before the wide fabrics became readily available with no problems as well. You do want to avoid having the seam in the middle if you can, but sometimes that happens depending on the width of the fabric. Still, if you can instead of having a left and right piece, put a full piece down the middle and half pieces on either side going the long way. I've also used three widths of fabric going horizontally for king sized quilts.

  19. #19
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    I love pieced backs. So much more interesting. And I dont want to buy so much yardage for the back. Using up what I have, some orphan blocks, some fat qtrs and here we go. Only downside is you are not done when you are done. You have to "design another quilt for the backing", but then again that is the fun.....I have too many ideas than time to make quilts, so now I make 2 for one.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have made a few and had no problem. However, I have to say that I hand quilt. I do not know how a machine would act though.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  21. #21
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I piece almost all of my backs and have done a double sided quilt - all on a vintage Singer 301. Never a problem at all. Oh, a slight problem. When getting ready to do an area, I feel the seam on the back and panic, thinking it's a tuck - it never is, so my only problem is a mental one.

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